I’ve been using Windows Vista on my laptop for a couple months now, and I have to say it’s pretty awesome. A lot more so than I ever thought it would be, especially considering the anti-hype it was given leading up to and shortly following its release. Contrary to the claims you’ll usually find, I haven’t had problems running games, all the drivers are there and up-to-date (even for graphics), the UAC doesn’t bug me about every single thing, and finally, it doesn’t crash every five seconds.
However, as much as I love Vista, I have come across a few really, really annoying things. Some are directly tied in with the operating system, others are just by-products of incompatibility with certain software or hardware, and still others are just personal peeves. Luckily there aren’t many, so I’m sorry to disappoint if you were hoping for a solid Microsoft-bashing. I don’t cater to fanboys (or fangirls, for that matter).
The biggest annoyance I’ve come across is the wireless. Now, most of my problems have been traced back to the rather crappy wireless Mini-PCI card Dell gave me. Word to the wise: stay away from the Dell 1390 wireless card if you can. A quick Google search will reveal this particular card has a lot of compatibility problems with certain WAPs and can be a real bugger, as I’ve found. As a result, I’ll often find myself unable to connect to wireless networks I know exist. They simply don’t show up. Resetting the wireless adapter might work…but then, it might not. Other times, I’ll connect to two or three different networks automatically, even though I only have one of them set to connect automatically. Even weirder is when the same network shows up five times in the available networks list. It’s really a pain, especially when it kicks me off a network for no reason or decides it doesn’t want to connect to DNS to let me view websites.
Now, I’ve done a bit of research and found that the Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG card can easily replace the Dell 1390 (if you think taking your laptop half-apart is easy), but it has it’s own compatibility problems, namely with Vista itself.
That leads me to my next big annoyance: programs not working with Vista. I can’t count how many times I’ve come across a cool program, only to learn it doesn’t work with Vista. I knew going in that a lot of stuff was going to be incompatible for a while (until software makers caught up with the new stuff in Vista), but I didn’t think it was going to be this bad. By bad, I mean that nearly every useful program I’ve come across (notable mentions include Wubi and Launchy) doesn’t work with Vista. Wubi is a big one. It’s supposed to let you install Ubuntu Linux inside Windows (which is great, since Ubuntu won’t play nice with Virtual PC) and then dual-boot it alongside Windows. Problem is, it won’t work with Vista. Works fine with everything else…but not Vista. There’ve been a couple times I wish I could just go back to XP, but that would be a bit more trouble than I want to deal with.
Those are really the big problems I have with Vista. Yes, I know the first is mostly hardware-related, but the Vista networking controls leave a little to be desired. I won’t go into that now. But even with the problems Vista has, I still like it. XP had its share of problems and don’t even get me started on Mac OS or Linux. For me, the benefits of Vista far outweigh the little annoyances.